Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but does not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119.
What is the latest advice for the contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
If someone is identified as a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19, then they must stay at home and self-isolate unless they meet one of the following conditions:
· Are fully vaccinated
· Are below the age of 18 years 6 months
· Have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial · Are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
However, if they live with or are contact of someone who has been identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, then the above conditions do not apply, and they must stay at home and self-isolate (even if they are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 years and 6 months). For more information on this, please see the latest guidance (links below)
Guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
NHS Test and Trace will get in touch with anyone who is a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to check whether they are legally required to self-isolate. If they are not legally required to self-isolate, then they will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if they do not have symptoms, they will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
I do hope that my letter does not worry you unduly, it is more with a note of caution that I write to you and make the changes that I have had too. We are all desperate for the children to have a lovely festive time in school this Christmas and will do our very best to ensure that they do, even if we have had to make some changes to the school calendar.